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Blogs and RSS - Why Do I Need This Stuff?

If you've been under a rock for the last year or so it's possible you might not have heard about blogs and RSS feeds. If you're like most of us, you've heard the buzz but might not've known what to make of it or what to do with it. Here's some answers.

First RSS feeds. RSS, depending on who you ask, stands for Really Simple Syndication. This is a technology that enables you to bring fresh, constantly updated material (feeds) into your site. The attraction of this is obvious. Sites need content, the fresher the better. Search engines love new content, hence the excitement about being able to pipe in extremely targeted feeds directly into your site. The implementation of this is not as difficult as one might imagine, and the choices for content are ever-burgeoning. You can find a feed for almost anything, and if you can't, you can create your own and syndicate it all over the web. The possibilities are mind-boggling. End-users must have the capability to read these feeds, but there are free feed readers all over the place and the new generation of browsers will have this built in.

Blogs. Nominated as one of the top words of 2004, they were prominent in the election (can you say, or want to, Howard Dean?) and they have become more a of web-household item. Blog software is ridiculously easy to use, and free. But why do I need one, you ask. Well, for me, it boils down to one thing and one thing only: search engines love blogs!! I have blogs that have higher (and much more quickly acquired) PageRank than sites that have several hundred pages of content! Why is this? Think about it: the very thing search engines love most, fresh content, is the very nature of blogging. Most blogs, at least commercial ones, are very on topic, keyword oriented, and frequently updated. The marketing piece concerning blogs is still in it's infancy but growing fast. There is little more powerful these days than a content blog hosted on your own site that is updated daily. I have blogs that get more traffic than the site they are sitting on! Think about this. It'll be worth it!

Blogs and RSS feeds are the next big thing that's already here! Don't miss out on the possibilities they offer!

Keith Thompson is the webmaster at Internet Marketing Here & Now, where you can find all sorts of information regarding RSS feeds!

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A return to blogs (finally? sort of?)  Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard

RSS Feeds and How To Burn Them  Business 2 Community

My Own Personal Extinction  Scientific American

BJP: Winning at What Cost?  Economic Times

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